Attorneys and Chiropractors Arrested in Insurance Fraud Scam
The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud has led the criminal investigation of a mass South Florida-based insurance fraud scam that has been operating for the past year. It is believed that South Florida chiropractors and attorneys had proliferated a scam believed to amount in hundreds of thousands of dollars of illegally procured funds from the submission of false insurance claims. These professionals allegedly worked together in order to exploit Florida’s no-fault insurance system. Those targeted by the scam were contacted following car accidents and were promised cash in return for receiving medical treatment at certain local-area clinics. These Floridians were promised money to receive chiropractic treatments, even if they had not sustained any injuries.
The South Florida No-Fault Insurance Fraud Scheme
For the past year, Florida law enforcement professionals have been investigating this insurance fraud after receiving a report about the illegal activity. Florida’s Department of Insurance Fraud, with the assistance of other law enforcement agencies, utilized undercover detectives to embed themselves in the medical clinics at the center of the insurance fraud scheme. The insurance fraud scheme was taking advantage of Florida’s no fault insurance system. Under this system, when the insured is in a car accident, the insurance company automatically pays for the resulting damages, regardless of who is responsible for the accident. The primary goal of no-fault insurance systems is to decrease the amount of time and costs associated with determining which party is at fault for a car accident.
Through the investigation, it was discovered that people would be contacted and would receive solicitations to undergo medical treatment following a car accident. The solicitors would state that even if the person did not believe that they were injured, they could have injuries that they were not aware of that would entitle to them to large sums of money from their insurance companies. If this was enough incentive, the contacted party would then visit one of the clinics involved in the scam to receive chiropractic treatment for their supposed injuries. From there, the clinic would bill insurance companies for treatment that either should not have been billed at all, or billed the insurance companies for services never rendered by the clinic. The attorneys would do their part in the scam by sending demand letters to the insurance companies requesting compensation for the supposed bodily injury that was the subject of their alleged insurance claims.
This mass insurance fraud scam involved professionals operating throughout South Florida including in Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Port St. Lucie, Fort Lauderdale, Boynton Beach and North Miami Beach. The current investigation is still being conducted and it remains unclear whether the patients who participated in these fraudulent activities will also be charged as part of the fraud scheme. The sad thing about this insurance fraud scheme is the fact that the financial losses from these activities will be borne by the public. This is because participants in insurance fraud schemes often to do not realize that even when insurance companies pay out funds on fraudulent claims, they simply pass on the resulting losses to other law-abiding policyholders. Furthermore, the costs of conducting such in-depth, long term criminal investigations costs taxpayers thousands of dollars.
Florida is getting serious about insurance fraud. If you need criminal defense representation for insurance fraud charges, contact criminal law attorneys Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. in South Florida today.